French Ligue 1 2015-16: Monaco, Lyon lose ground on PSG

Monaco and Lyon lost ground on leaders Paris Saint-Germain in French Ligue 1 action on Saturday with the Principality side held 1-1 at Toulouse while Lyon fell 2-1 at home to Rennes.

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 23, 2015, 09:30 AM IST
French Ligue 1 2015-16: Monaco, Lyon lose ground on PSG

Paris: Monaco and Lyon lost ground on leaders Paris Saint-Germain in French Ligue 1 action on Saturday with the Principality side held 1-1 at Toulouse while Lyon fell 2-1 at home to Rennes.

A second-half strike by the excellent Blaise Matuidi gave Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 win away to Montpellier on Friday as the French champions maintained their perfect start. 

Matuidi`s 61st-minute goal ensured PSG have a maximum nine points, two points ahead of an unhearalded pursuing trio of Bastia, Angers and Nantes who all achieved wins on Saturday.

Monaco had been looking to get back to winning ways after their goalless draw at Lille last week and a 3-1 defeat in Valencia in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.

Quarter-finalists last season, Leonardo Jardim`s side face now an uphill struggle to turn that European tie around in the return at the Stade Louis II next Tuesday.

Jardim`s starting line on Saturday included just three players who featured in Spain -- goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, Brazilian defender Wallace and midfielder Jeremy Toulalan.

Defender Layvin Kurzawa returned from injury but Monaco could only come garner one point with Thomas Lemar`s 65th equaliser cancelling out Mali midfielder Tongo Doumbia`s 23rd-minute opener for Toulouse.

Earlier Lyon`s patchy early-season form continued after a second-half Mehdi Zeffane goal condemned them to a 2-1 defeat at home to Rennes.

Last season`s runners-up stole victory at Guingamp last weekend and were held at home by Lorient in their first league game, and they fell behind to a Pedro Henrique goal after just eight minutes at the Stade Gerland. 

Hubert Fournier`s men swiftly levelled thanks to Nabil Fekir`s deflected effort after good work from new signing Rafael da Silva.

But Rennes secured back-to-back wins thanks to Algerian international Zeffane`s 56th-minute strike.

With Lyon and Monaco stuck mid-table and Marseille in the relegation zone ahead of Sunday`s home game against Troyes, Bastia, Angers and Nantes are flying high behind PSG.

In Corsica, Angers won the duel of promoted sides 2-0 at Gazelec Ajaccio thanks to a double from Senegalese captain Cheikh Ndoye, while a Julian Palmieri double helped Bastia to a 3-0 win over Breton visitors Guingamp.

Caen and Reims, who like PSG had won their first two games, both suffered their first defeats of the season with the Normandy side losing 2-1 at Nice following superb goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Alassane Pléa, while Reims lost 1-0 at 2001 champions Nantes.